Newspapers: All about freedom

  • Tuesday, July 2, 2013 4:28pm
  • News

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” — The Declaration of Independence

As the Fourth of July approaches we hope you’ll consider the role newspapers play in reflecting the many freedoms we enjoy in these United States of America and be reminded as you read each page just how great those freedoms are. The Homer News, this week and every week, is filled with examples of our freedom to engage in individual pursuits of happiness — whether it’s learning more about the place we call home in a harbor tour, running in the annual Spit Run, taking part in regatta on Kachemak Bay, gardening or fishing or … well, the list goes on, doesn’t it?

 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  — The First Amendment

Newspapers — just like the one you’re holding in your hand or the one you’re reading online — embody the essence of freedom. But newspapers are far more than a byproduct of the First Amendment. If you look closely, you can see freedom in all its forms ringing out from every page, every week.

Take the front page of the Homer News this week. Former U.S. Army Sgt. Randy Clifford is an example of the high price of freedom. Clifford took a bullet in the back when he served in Vietnam. After being separated from the many medals his military service earned him, he was given a new set of medals in a ceremony last Saturday. Men and women like Clifford are the reason the rest of us get to enjoy our freedom.

The gathering to celebrate the life of Homer musician Ray Garrity is a great example of our ability — our freedom — to peaceably assemble for all kinds of reasons — including to pay tribute to a much loved Homer resident.

The story on the new halibut catch sharing proposal shows our freedom — also our responsibility — to be involved in the decisions that affect us. 

Farther back in the paper, there’s the Worship Directory, a weekly reminder of our freedom to practice any religion we choose or none at all. 

 

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” — The Declaration of Independence

Virtually every week we have a story or stories that should remind us that government exists for “the Safety and Happiness”  — as the Declaration of Independence puts it — of the people and not the other way around. More often than not there’s disagreement in those government stories — a reminder that we are free to speak our minds without fear of retribution.

When we don’t like something, we are free to work to change it. Homer’s plastic bag ordinance, the borough’s anadromous streams ordinance and the statewide effort to repeal Senate Bill 21, often called the oil tax giveaway, immediately come to mind as examples. 

Alas, freedom doesn’t mean we always get our way, but it does mean we are free to work for change. The flip side of freedom is the responsibility we have to set things right when we think government has acted wrongly.

The advertising in the newspaper is a reminder of our freedom to do business with one another. Our system of commerce isn’t a free-for-all, but there’s plenty of room to allow those with a great idea and work ethic to pursue their dreams. The advertisers in the Homer News are proof the American dream is alive and well.

In the end, freedom and opportunity seem almost synonymous. That’s why we love the “thank you” letters from students at this time of year. Those letters express the students’ gratitude for the opportunities they’ve found in this community and the opportunities they have to go explore the world outside their hometown — and possibly get new views about freedom.

If you want to know what’s great about this country — or just need a reminder — we encourage you to read this newspaper every week with an eye toward freedom and then share it with a friend. We’re convinced you’ll find the “blessings of liberty” stamped on every page.

 

More in News

Christie Hill prepares to play “Taps” during the 9/11 memorial service on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Homer honors lives lost during 9/11

The Homer-Kachemak Bay Rotary held a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony at the… Continue reading

Judith Eckert
COVID-19 patient says monoclonal antibody infusion saved her life

Antibody infusions highly effective in reducing risk of hospitalization, according to FDA trial ..

A sign flashing “Keep COVID down” also offers information on where to get testing and vaccines on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
SPH holding steady in COVID-19 surge

Despite hospital crisis in Anchorage, Homer’s hospital not impacted, spokesperson tells Homer City Council.

Brie Drummond speaks in support of mask mandates on Monday, Sept. 13, for the Kenai Peninsula School Board meeting at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. During a work session before the meeting, the district presented revisions to its COVID-19 mitigation protocols. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
School district revises COVID-19 mitigation plans

The revisions come as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Alaska and on the Kenai Peninsula.

A protester stands outside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin building in Soldotna on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Parents square off over masks at school board meeting

Some parents said they will keep their kids home if masks are required, while others say they’ll keep their kids home if masks aren’t required.

.
Borough School Board election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

.
Homer City Council election

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Janie Leask, a Homer resident, spoke in support of the new multi-use community center during Monday night’s city council meeting, stating the need for community recreation is vital.
Council moves forward with HERC plans

After years of discussions and planning, the Homer City Council is quickly… Continue reading

Most Read